Series note: “When Homeschoolers Turn Violent” is a joint research project by Homeschoolers Anonymous and Homeschooling’s Invisible Children. Please see the Introduction for detailed information about the purpose and scope of the project.
Trigger warning: If you experience triggers from descriptions of physical and sexual violence, please know that the details in many of the cases are disturbing and graphic.
In February 2008, 34-year-old Kishon Green stabbed his 10-year-old son and his son’s 13-year-old half-brother to death.
Kishon’s parents, James and Rachel Green, said they tried to teach Kishon as a kid to “live based on the Bible’s teachings” and had “love and affection” for him. Growing up, Kishon had difficulties with school, his IQ being 70 — “the generally recognized borderline for mental retardation.” As a young child, he ranked low on tests in elementary and middle public schools. He eventually was withdrawn from school and homeschooled for his high school years, eventually receiving his high school diploma as a homeschooler.
Kishon had a long history of cocaine and alcohol abuse. He personally blamed the murders on his drug use, explaining that, “I have a heart. I’m not a cold-blooded killer.”
Three weeks before the killings, Kishon had moved back in with the boys’ mother, Tiffany Courtney. The day of the murders, he had borrowed Tiffany’s car for a job interview and then picked up the boys at school. He killed the boys, hid their bodies in a closet and a bathroom, and then proceeded to pick up Tiffany from work. After getting in an argument with her, he attacked her as well, stabbing her repeatedly as well as striking her with a baseball bat. He smoked a cigarette, washed his hands, changed his clothes, and then left Tiffany’s apartment. Tiffany managed to call 911, still unaware her sons were dead.
In June 2012, despite opposition from prosecutors, a judge ruled there was “overwhelming evidence” that Kishon was “mentally retarded” and thus could not be sentenced to death. The following August, Kishon pled guilty to capital murder of the two boys and attempted murder of his girlfriend. He was sentenced to prison for life without parole.
View the case index here.